Fifty years using the wrong model of advertising

Robert Heath, Paul Feldwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (SciVal)


This paper investigates the dominance of the information processing model in TV advertising. Despite theoretical and empirical evidence that supports the importance of factors such as emotional content and creativity, the authors show that a rational information-based persuasion model, which pre-dates the development of formal marketing, persists in its domination of almost all TV advertising development and evaluation. It is postulated that this persistence derives from a sociological desire to maintain a positivist worldview of simplistic, well-ordered value systems operated by rational and predictable consumers. The authors suggest that both advertisers and researchers need to adopt a Critical Realism perspective in order to move beyond the philosophical straitjacket of this information processing model, and they summarise the implications that this has for current research practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-59
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Market Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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